My Life in Pink/Ma Vie en rose (Alain Berliner, 1997)
To what extent does the opening sequence of the film prepare the audience for what is to follow in terms of genre, subject matter, mood, characters and plot development? Although French by language, ‘Ma Vie En Rose’ is directed by Belgian director, Alain Berliner, and therefore shares the concerns and troubles lurking in the subconscious mind of the Belgian people, mainly, the confusion over their national identity, as the country is divided by a French/Dutch language barrier. The metaphor which drives this debate is the young protagonist Ludovic; a gender confused boy who prefers skirts and stilettos to shorts and trainers, who is predictably disliked by the locals and even by his parents because of his lifestyle choice. The film opens immediately with an entirely handheld camera scene showing a woman doing up her dress zip, which is a symbol seen throughout the opening sequence to represent the bond between the family relationship. As we see the zip rise easily we can assume that this couple have great chemistry; they appear very comfortable around each other and still have the flair and fun of a new relationship. However unlike the other couples shown getting ready, Titi’s wife does the dress up by herself, which is an indication of the young independent woman who many young men admire in modern times. The fact that this scene shows the woman wearing a dress covered in flowers, and a very erratic handheld camera move, also suggests that this couple are a new and exciting addition to the neighbourhood, they have no problems and no skeletons in their closet. They are also framed closely together and can barely keep their hands off each other; sexuality is clearly not an issue for these two. This starkly contrasts to the statically shot house of the next couple, Lisette and Albert. Once again the zip of the dress rises with ease, however they immediately walk into each other, suggesting while they have a...
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